Free APA Referencing Generator

Generate APA reference for a Book

Use the author's surname followed by their initials, like "Smith, J.". Separate multiple authors with a comma, and the final author with an ampersand, like "Smith, J., & Brown, F.".

Plus, a handy guide on how to do APA style referencing…

Always remember to check your references and citations before submitting them with your work. Always get your tutor or a university staff member to check your references before you submit your work.

APA Referencing Guide

When is APA referencing used?

The American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style is used in Language & Linguistic Science, Education and, unsurprisingly, in Psychology.

Like with most other referencing styles, you will need to reference the materials and resources you have used for your own writing in two places:

  1. The full details of those materials need to be noted at the end of your text in the Reference List, listed alphabetically by the author’s surname. You can include any additional reading you’ve done around the subject in a Bibliography (which comes just after your Reference List if needed).

  2. The author’s name and the publication year (along with page numbers in certain situations) are noted within the text whenever they are referred to (in-text citations).


Exactly what to include in each of these locations depends on the type of source the information comes from.
Our referencing tool will ask you for what’s needed for each material type, but if you don’t have everything you need, this guide takes you through what you need to do. As well as this, we explain how in-text citations are formatted in the APA referencing style.

What does an APA reference look like?

  1. Reference List example

Farthing, S. (2010). ART The Whole Story. Thames & Hudson Ltd.

  1. In-text citation example

The Tabletop theory (Farthing, 2010) is challenged by the studio-based movement (Dadswell et al., 2019). Farthing (2010) argues that “the movement was clearly drawing a line under…” (p.137).

There are a few things to explain here, which we detail in the In-text citations | Your questions answered section later on.

How to use our free referencing generator

To use our free referencing tool, simply select which kind of resource you need to reference and fill in all the information that’s needed for that specific source material type. Then click ‘Generate reference’, and your APA style reference will be ready for you to paste into your Reference List. It’s as easy as that. 

If you don’t have all the information you need, that’s when things get a little more complicated. See the next section if you’re missing some of the essential info.  

Don’t forget that doing your referencing incorrectly could impact your marks. Always take some time before you submit your assignment to manually check your reference list once you’ve assembled it. 

What to do if you don't have all the information

You don’t know the author’s name

If you’re looking at a source that doesn’t state who it’s been written by, you should firstly question its credibility. There may be times it does need to be included anyway, so if that’s the case, you’ll just need to make do with the information you can find. Use any listed contributors instead – if it’s an online resource, you should be able to find a name on the ‘About’ section of their website. For a printed resource, you could use the publication company as the author as the last resort. You’ll find this just inside the cover of the publication. 

You don’t know the publication date

Again, you should question a resource if it can’t be dated. If it needs to be included, you can use (n.d.), which stands for ‘no date’. If it’s an online resource you’re using, you could use the date a page was last updated. 

You don’t know the page numbers

If you’re referencing a certain page of a book, e-book or journal and you don’t have the page number, you can make do with just the chapter number.

In-text citations - Your questions answered

How should you format in-text citations?

Here’s an example of an in-text citation in the APA style that we use to explain a few things:

The Tabletop theory (Farthing, 2010) is challenged by the studio-based movement (Dadswell et al., 2019). Farthing (2010) argues that “the movement was clearly drawing a line under…” (p.137).

  1. Firstly, when talking broadly about a theory, idea or text, you simply include the author and year of publication in parentheses after mentioning it.
  2. When multiple authors or contributors are referenced, the first author is used and ‘et al.’ is noted before the comma and year. If it’s just two authors, you instead include both in the order they appear in the publication with an ampersand in between. For example, (Dadswell & Strong, 2002).
  3. If you use the author’s surname already within a sentence, you can just include the publication date and the page number (if relevant) in the parenthesis.  


When should you use quotation marks, and how should they appear?

If it’s useful to include word-for-word text from a source, make sure it sits between quotation marks “like these” to distinguish it from your own ideas. If your quote is 39 words or fewer, you should integrate the quote within your text. For example:

As Dadswell (2019) states, “the studio-based moment didn’t…” (p.137). 

But, if you are including a longer quote that is made up of 40 words or more, you should drop the quotation marks, and it should be separated out from the text a little. To do this, you simply move the quote to a new line and indent it. For example, 

Farthing (2010) states that:

Pottery making has been an integral component of indigenous communities in the Southwest for thousands of years. Until the early 20th century, when tourist demand for pots outstripped supply, pottery making was the domain of Puebloan women. Like their ancestors, Pueblo women gathered clay from sacred places (p. 281).

When should you include page numbers?

Including page numbers lets the reader locate the specific item you’re referring to. When it comes to in-text citations, you should include the page numbers when you are quoting directly from the source, word for word or when you’re referring to a specific detail in a piece of text like an illustration, a table, a statistic or a specific theory.  

How do you cite multiple authors making similar points?

If you want to refer to a few sources that are making similar or supporting arguments, you can list them all within one in-text citation in order of publication date. For example: Craft is integral within indigenous communities (Farthing, 2010; Dadswell, 2019; Strong, 2022). 

What if an author has more than one publication in the same year?

This will mean the reader won’t know which text you’re referring to. If that’s the case, you need to add lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.) onto the year to differentiate between them. For example: (Dadswell, 2019a; Dadswell, 2019b, Dadswell, 2019c). 

When it comes to your Reference List, you just need to remember to include the relevant letters in the same way for each source. 

Are in-text citations included in your word count?

Yes, they usually are. It might be worth checking with your university or college if you aren’t sure.